During the Civil War, Union trooops slept in a small country church that is now a chapel at Andrews AFB. Located about 10 miles southeast of Washington DC, in Maryland, the base was first established as Camp Springs Army field in 1941, and became operational in 1943. Named Andrews Air Field in 1945, the name was changed to Andrews AFB in 1947 when the Air Force became a separate military service.
Serving largely as a headquarters base in a curtailed operational capacity during the post-World War II years, Andrews has been the home of the Continental Air Command, Strategic Air Command and the Military Air Transport Service. Today, the 4,320-acre base houses more than 20,000 active duty military personnel, civilian employees and family members.
Andrews has evolved from the muddy fields and wooden buildings of the 1940s into one of the most modern bases in the Air Force, hosting visitors ranging from the president of the US to congressional delegations and foreign heads of state.